Are Bitcoin Users Less Sociable? An Analysis of Users’ Language and Social Connections on Twitter

  • Ivan Hernandez
  • Masooda Bashir
  • Gahyun Jeon
  • Jeremiah Bohr
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 435)

Abstract

Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency, has seen much growth and controversy in the four years since its introduction. Yet, despite Bitcoin’s growing importance, little is known about its users. Our research explores what type of people use this domain and what concepts they tend to emphasize in their language. We analyzed over 50,000 messages from over 6,000 users of the social networking community, Twitter. Our analyses show a consistent pattern that people interested in Bitcoin are far less likely to emphasize social relations than typical users of the site. Specifically, Bitcoin followers (1) are less likely to mention family, friends, religion, sex, and emotion related words in their tweets and (2) have significantly less social connection to other users on the site. These findings offer the first empirical look at what exactly makes Bitcoin users distinct from others and can have implications for the future of the currency.

Keywords

Bitcoin Twitter LIWC Relationships Text Analysis Virtual Currency Social Network Sites 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Hernandez
    • 1
  • Masooda Bashir
    • 1
  • Gahyun Jeon
    • 1
  • Jeremiah Bohr
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA

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